Colombian Air Force kills FARC chief

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-8-27 11:38:57

A senior leader nicknamed "Silver" of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels was killed in an air strike, a Colombian military official said Monday.

Colombian Air Force (FAC) commander Guillermo Leon said "human and technical" intelligence information provided by the police led the air force to locate and kill Virgilio Vidal "Silver" in Riosucio, a town in northwest Choco department.

"In this operation, undertaken in conjunction with the police, we were able to gather very precise intelligence and carry out a very well-calculated operation with FAC airplanes to 'neutralize'...Vidal," Leon said.

Vidal, head of the FARC's 57th Front, was suspected of peddling arms and drugs along the border with Panama. The Colombian authorities have issued three arrest warrants for Vidal over rebellion against the state, kidnapping, terrorism and homicide.

Leon did not disclose when the operation was carried out, but it was believed it took place on Saturday.

After the air force bombed the rebel camp, police entered the site and reported that they found an arsenal, as well as laptops, communication radios, a satellite phone and a GPS device, among other items.

Local media quoted Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon as saying that the death of Vidal brings the number of "neutralized" FARC leaders to 47

during the government of President Juan Manuel Santos.

Since November, the Colombian government and the FARC have been holding peace talks in Havana, Cuba, seeking an end to the half-a-century fighting.

Posted in: Americas

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